With the hire of Scott Frost in December, everyone knew a big culture change was going to happen. Also, an intensity and competitive spirit that hasn’t been in the program in quite some time. Heading into the season, Frost and his staff in the previous months found athletes to fit the system and make the competitiveness among the team better. A big part of that is the junior college and graduate transfer revival at Nebraska.
Frost and his staff went after athletes that are going to improve the product on the field right from the get-go. Turning around a program is not small task, but Frost did it at UCF quickly and he knows the formula. The JUCO products that Frost brought in are quite staggering as some of the athletes had big time offers to play ball at major school prior to JUCO and Nebraska.
One of the first JUCO athletes to get the ball rolling was Denotai Williams. Williams is a 6-1 safety that is just a sophomore. He is a bone crushing hitter in the back end of any defense. Out of high school, he was committed to Georgia. He then decided to take the JUCO route at JC Jones in Ellisville, Mississippi. There he totaled 26 tackles and two interceptions. Williams was regarded as the #2 JUCO safety in the nation according to 247 Sports.
One of the most coveted JUCO transfers in recent history for Nebraska football is junior linebacker Will Honas. Honas hails from Wichita, Kansas and went to Butler Community College for two years. Honas recorded 96 tackles in his final season at Butler CC. Honas is expected by many to dominate on the defensive side of the ball as he is known as a ball hawk.
Next on the offensive side, Frost and his staff went out and got some of the best play makers in the JUCO ranks. Mike Williams stands at 5-10, 185 pounds and is a very speedy receiver from East Mississippi Community College. Williams had 669 yards receiving last season with seven touchdowns as well.
Greg Bell plays the running back position and will fight for a starting spot. Bell was a JUCO All-American at Arizona Western as he tallied 1,187 yards and seven scores. Bell will have to work for carries in a crowded backfield, but he showed his talents in the spring.
Now for the D-1 transfers, the Huskers have bolstered their roster with players coming to UNL. A number of athletes will provide a spark on the defensive side of the ball for the Blackshirts.
First, a graduate transfer Vaha Vainuku. Vainuku is coming from Utah and he will have two season of eligibility on the defensive line. Vainuku will add depth to the defensive line and has the possibility to make an impact as he has a lot of football knowledge. The reason being, he has played a lot of different positions on the field.
Next is a familiar face to head coach Scott Frost. Tre Neal will be a graduate transfer as he spent his career at UCF prior to the transfer here. Neal had a big season for the 13-0 Golden Knights as he recorded 68 tackles and three interceptions. Neal brings a lot of experience and will more than likely lobby for a starting spot or a regular rotation player.
The final transfer is Breon Dixon. This might be one of the most watched athletes in the transfer game in recent years. Dixon was originally a Rebel at Ole Miss, but once sanctions happened there, he decided to transfer. Dixon then submitted a waiver to the NCAA to play right away and it was accepted. Dixon was a four-star linebacker out of high school. He was converted to a defensive back at Ole Miss, but here at Nebraska he will play linebacker. In the spring he lined up outside in the 3-4 set, which why wouldn’t you with an athlete like Dixon. He may wear a couple of different hats this season for Nebraska as he is a versatile player.
With this group of players. recruits, and other transfers Nebraska is bringing in, it helps with competitiveness in practice and in games as well. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but players like these will help make the turn around quicker for the Huskers.